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      Finlandia and Hancock High Schoolâ??s agreement a success

      Two years ago, Jared Korpela was a student at Hancock High School. Now he's a business and accounting major at Finlandia University and one of 67 students that are a part of Finlandia and Hancock's Campus and Community: Together for Good. Hancock High School students who apply and receive the Hancock Award are given full tuition for four years. "I wanted to apply just because free college. Not many people get free college, and it was in my hometown. So I would tell everybody at least consider applying just because free college, I mean, you very rarely get that opportunity," said Korpela. Under the agreement, Hancock's old middle school now belongs to Finlandia. The other part of the agreement allows Hancock students to practice and play on Finlandia's McAfee Field. TyAnn Lindell, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, says the award also benefits the community. "It's a community effort. If we can get families to be in the Hancock area and have their children to attend school, that would benefit the local community. Having more students take advantage of higher education is always a benefit to the local area," said Lindell. Every four years a committee reviews the initiative. This year's 5th through 12th grade Hancock students are eligible for the award. Seniors must have 2.0 grade point average and need to apply for the award by March 1. Finlandia says so far the program is going well, and 72 percent of the students who first started in the program will graduate in May with a four year degree.